So much news, I can’t even keep up. Here’s Thursday.
January 24, 2019
Western Hemisphere Regional
- Scott R. Anderson, “The Constitutional Quandary Already at the Border” (Lawfare, January 24, 2019).
The president’s Nov. 20 memorandum does not fit with what is known about the existing law and policies surrounding the posse comitatus restriction
- Jose A. Del Real, “‘It’s Not a Wall,’ but Steel Slats and Barbed Wire Roil a Border Town” (The New York Times, January 24, 2019).
Lost amid the battle over credit and semantics was how Calexico residents themselves felt about becoming characters in Trump-era political theater
- “Swift Action Needed Against Lingering Violence, Terrorism in Colombia to Bolster Support for Peace Accord, Incoming Special Representative Tells Security Council” (Security Council, United Nations, January 24, 2019).
Several delegates, hailing the early work of the various bodies mandated by Colombia’s peace agreement, emphasized the need to ensure that they stay independent from the Government and retain their full credibility
- Luis Jaime Acosta, “Colombia Bombing, Extradition Request Roil Already Stagnant Peace Talks” (Reuters, Reuters, January 24, 2019).
Guarantors Cuba and Norway do not support extradition, while Chile said on Tuesday it does. Venezuela and Brazil have not yet commented
- “Respetar o No los Protocolos: El Tema Que Desinflo el Apoyo de los Partidos al Gobierno” (Semana (Colombia), January 24, 2019).
Se puede decir que hubo más resistencia que apoyo al gobierno en su decisión de desconocer el protocolo con el ELN. De los partidos de gobierno solo dos lo apoyaron al 100%
- Kyle Johnson, “Bogota Bomb Shatters Peace Talks With Colombia’s Last Guerrillas” (International Crisis Group, January 24, 2019).
To maintain its cohesion, its collective leadership organ – the Central Command (COCE) – tends to both initiate peaceful gestures and allow more radical units to carry out sustained military activity
- “Confrontacion Con el Eln, Grave Amenaza para las Regiones” (Verdad Abierta (Colombia), January 24, 2019).
Presentamos un panorama sobre la situación de las regiones más vulnerables ante el eventual recrudecimiento del conflicto armado y la percepción de líderes sociales y autoridades locales
- Erika Rebolledo, “Condenados Militares (R) por Plan para Asesinar a Lideres de dd.hh. Y Politicos en Valle” (La W Radio (Colombia), January 24, 2019).
La denominada “Operación Dragón” se adelantó en el año 2004 y según el senador Alexander López fue contratada por la entonces superintendente de servicios públicos y hoy funcionaria del gobierno Duque
- Javier Estrada Tobar, “Fiscal del Mp: “el Ejercito Nos Niega Informacion para Enjuiciar a Guerrilleros”” (Nomada (Guatemala), January 24, 2019).
Hay una reforma de ley que ronda en el Congreso que permitiría que al menos 41 criminales de guerra guatemaltecos abandonen la prisión y gocen de libertad
- MartÍn RodrÍguez Pellecer, “El Dilema de la Magistrada Gloria Porras: Frenar el Golpe o Entregarselo a su Cuestionable Suplente” (Nomada (Guatemala), January 24, 2019).
Los golpes de Estado en esta década ya no son con tanques militares, son con laberintos legales y judiciales para que los ciudadanos crean que siguen viviendo en democracia hasta que es demasiado tarde. Y me parece que una jueza valiente puede ponerle freno al Golpe que está ocurriendo en cámara lenta en Guatemala
- Ashley Westerman, David Greene, “Native American Leader: ‘A Wall Is Not the Answer’” (Morning Edition, National Public Radio, January 24, 2019).
Verlon Jose, vice chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation, says President Trump’s proposed wall would devastate his community
- Jesusa Cervantes, “Guardia Nacional Es una “Apuesta Riesgosa”: Ombudsman Ante Legisladores” (Proceso (Mexico), January 24, 2019).
l defensor de los derechos humanos alertó sobre la Guardia Nacional y sostuvo que aún con mando civil “sigue siendo una respuesta parcial, incompleta y sesgada”
- Amy Stillman, Nacha Cattan, “Inside the Deadly Business of Stealing Fuel in Mexico” (Bloomberg, Bloomberg, January 24, 2019).
The black market is ubiquitous in Mexico, where almost 60 percent of the workforce is outside the formal economy, and gasoline has long been one of the mainstays
- Mary Beth Sheridan, Sarah Kinosian, “More Than 10,000 Migrants Request Visas as Caravan Hits Mexico More Than 10,000 Migrants Request Visas as Caravan Hits Mexico” (The Washington Post, January 24, 2019).
If the migrants travel together, the convoy could exceed the size of the last such caravan
Central America Regional, Mexico
- Juan Montes, “Migrant Tally Surges at Guatemala-Mexico Border” (The Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2019).
That number, provided Wednesday by Mexico’s National Migration Institute, is almost twice the estimate given by Mexican officials a day earlier, reflecting what migrants said was burgeoning awareness of the new policy among would-be travelers
Panama, Western Hemisphere Regional
- Nicole Winfield, “Pope Francis Says the Fear of Migration Is ‘Making Us Crazy’ During His Trip to Central America” (Associated Press, Time, January 24, 2019).
Francis famously has called for “bridges, not walls.” After celebrating Mass in 2016 on the Mexican side of the U.S. border, he denounced anyone who wants to build a wall to keep out migrants as “not Christian”
- Francisco Toro, “Juan Guaido Claims the Presidency: How Will This Play Out?” (Caracas Chronicles, January 24, 2019).
Right now, there are enormous pressures on the military. It’s possible the institution will fracture into two relatively evenly-matched halves. Who then proceed to shoot it out. It’s also possible it will fragment into eight or ten grouplets
- Michael Shifter, “Can Venezuela Have a Peaceful Transition?” (Inter-American Dialogue, The New York Times, January 24, 2019).
For many, an amnesty for the military will be a bitter pill to swallow. The crimes committed have been monumental and there is understandably a demand for full accountability. This delicate question risks dividing the opposition
- Daniel Cancel, Fabiola Zerpa, “As U.S. Digs in at Embassy, Venezuela Military Supports Maduro” (Bloomberg, Bloomberg, January 24, 2019).
The deadline Maduro gave for the U.S. to remove its staff would expire in the afternoon on Saturday, Jan. 26. A refusal to evacuate would test Maduro’s reaction and whether he’d be willing to use force
- Alex Daugherty, “What Would It Mean to Put Venezuela on the U.S. List of Nations That Sponsor Terrorism?” (The Miami Herald, January 24, 2019).
A potential ban on Venezuelan oil imports could be part of a sanctions package, though oil sanctions can be separate from sanctions imposed as part of designating a country a state sponsor of terror
- Deirdre Shesgreen, “Putin Warns Against ‘Destructive Interference’ in Venezuela After Trump Recognizes Juan Guaido” (USA Today, January 24, 2019).
In his phone call with Maduro, Putin "stressed that destructive outside interference grossly violated the fundamental norms of international law,"
- Juan Forero, Kejal Vyas, Maolis Castro, “U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President” (The Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2019).
A senior U.S. administration official said the Trump administration would act if Mr. Maduro’s government uses violence against Mr. Guaidó or other assembly members. He said “everything is on the table, all options,” including the use of force
- , Ana Vanessa Herrero, “After U.S. Backs Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s Leader, Maduro Cuts Ties” (The New York Times, January 24, 2019).
Mr. Rubio said that designating Mr. Guaidó as president would allow millions of dollars of Venezuelan government assets frozen in the United States to be at the disposal of opposition lawmakers
- Michael R. Pompeo, “Continuing U.S. Diplomatic Presence in Venezuela” (U.S. Department of State, January 24, 2019).
The United States will take appropriate actions to hold accountable anyone who endangers the safety and security of our mission and its personnel
- Anne Gearan, Karen Deyoung, “With Risks Ahead, Trump Administration Pins Hopes on Venezuela’s Opposition” (The Washington Post, January 24, 2019).
Asked why the response to Maduro is different from that toward many other authoritarian leaders, Bolton rejected the premise. “The fact is, Venezuela is in our hemisphere,”